Bridging the Communication Gap between Afro-Latinos and African Americans: A Position Paper on Interdisciplinary Curriculum Development
The paper will describe the development, implementation, and impact of an award-winning proposal funded by United Negro College Fund/Special Programs Corporation. This proposal was part of a Cross-Hemispheric Partnership grant sponsored by the United States of American International Development. The grant covered the period of January 2003 to March 2004. The overall purpose of the grant was the development of curricula intended to promote knowledge and collaboration between academic units within the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and a cross-hemispheric partnership with overseas institutions of higher education with expertise in Afro-Latinos. Recipients of the grant were to develop interdisciplinary courses that would serve to integrate knowledge about Afro-descendants as part of the teacher preparation program. Our HBCU is Winston-Salem State University, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System, and our overseas cross-hemispheric partner was Universidad de Veracruz-Jalapa campus, Mexico. Under the direction of Professor Vargas, Professor Kuhl worked with anthropologist and historian Sagrario Cruz-Carretero of the Universidad de Veracruz. Together they developed two courses: The African Presence in the Americas and The African Presence in Mexico. They piloted both courses by revising an existing history course that was part of Winston-Salem State University’s academic inventory in the second five-week session of the 2003 Summer School. Professor Kuhl presented portions of the Americas course for the first week. During the next two weeks Professor Cruz-Carretero presented the material pertaining to Mexico. Professor Kuhl concluded the course in remaining two weeks. In the fall semester of this the academic year following the pilot, the Department of Social Sciences approved the addition of the two piloted courses to the history curriculum.
Keywords: Afro-Latinos, African Americans, Interdisciplinary Curriculum Development, Teacher Training
Dr. Manuel Vargas
Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Education, School of Education and Human Performance, Winston-Salem State University